Azimio senators storm out of Senate retreat, accuse Speaker of bias

Senate speaker, Amason Kingi [[2nd left] and Nandi Governor, Stephen Sang [2nd right] join speakers before launching model county assembly gender policy booklets during the County assembly speakers induction workshop at PrideInn Beach Hotel in Mombasa. [File, Standard]

Opposition senators have threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against Senate Speaker Amason Kingi over what they termed as making it impossible for members to present matters affecting the electorate on the floor of the House.

The senators allied to Azimio who stormed out of a Senate stock-taking and planning retreat on the first two sessions of the 13th Parliament in Nairobi Monday, claimed that there was a well-choreographed plan to stifle debate on the floor of the House through unequal application of the Standing Orders.

Addressing Journalists at Parliament Buildings, the 20 senators led by Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo said they walked out of the retreat to protest the hypocrisy of the Senate leadership especially the open disregard of Standing Orders and contempt directed at the minority side and its leadership.

“We have also seen well-choreographed attempts to stifle debate on the floor through unequal application of the Standing 0rders, some members of the Speakers’ panel appear to be under instruction to allow numerous and repeated frivolous points of order whenever a member of the minority side is on the floor,” said Madzayo.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said there was also disproportionate meting out of harsh punishment for alleged transgressions by members of the minority with leaders being thrown out at the slightest infraction while their colleagues in the majority side walk away scot free.

Sifuna cited the incident that involved Madzayo and Nominated Senator Veronica Maina presiding the sitting as a member of the Speaker’s panel and despite a formal complaint written to the Speaker about her conduct no action has been taken.

The Nairobi Senator further claimed that tthe Speaker has repeatedly and without legal justification refused to approve questions and motions sponsored by the minority side.

“In the last session motions to censure Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria for his attacks on the media and Inspector General of Police for his conduct during opposition protests and many others were rejected in order to protect the image of the regime,” said Sifuna.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina said that the legislative process in the Senate has been captured and in the first two sessions they have seen unconstitutional Bills all sponsored by the Kenya Kwanza regime.

Kina pointed that private members’ Bills sponsored by the minority side have faced frustrations including undue delays at pre-publication stage, publication and processing at committee stage not to mention scheduling for debate.

“Our members have also complained of outright plagiarism and hijacking of their legislative ideas by various ministries, the best example is the digital health bill initially sponsored by Nominated Senator Hamida Kibwana,” he said.

The opposition senators demanded for immediate recusal of members of the Speakers panel notorious for stifling debate and not applying House rules equally and strict application of the Standing Orders during debates without bias as well as the speaker ruling on each point of order.

They called for Immediate response to all communication addressed to the Speaker from the minority leadership including the complaint on the conduct of Nominated Senator Maina and reconstitution of committees.

They warned that many Bills that have been passed by the House will end up in court since due process was not followed.

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